Review of 'Ten Things You Really Shouldn't Do With Puppets'

By Kelly Luck

Paul Mesner’s puppet company has spent the last several years creating a variety of different projects: children’s theatre, public service messages, and collaborations with other performance groups in the metro area. By and large, the majority of these performances have been strictly wholesome, unimpeachable works suitable for anyone. Which is all well and good, but sooner or later, something has to give. And so, once in a while there comes a show like “Ten Things You Really Shouldn’t Do With Puppets.”

The show, in which Mesner and Mike Horner go through a series of increasingly “inappropriate” puppet behaviors, is definitely keyed to adults. They talk about some of the projects on which they have collaborated, and relate the occasional story of good puppetry gone wrong.

The humor is often ribald, though a bit tiresome from time to time. There is a tendency to make r obvious jokes and then explain them. The show tends toward the scatological as it goes along. Whether this is a hindrance to the viewer is entirely up to one’s sense of humor. Still, Mesner & Horner are clearly having fun, and the audience is following right along.

Puppetry is for all ages and it is great to have the genre expanded from its children’s niche, if only during the KC Fringe Festival.

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